ANSA confirmed Bonelli's death, but did not report the cause of it.
Among the properties he shepherded at the Cepim publishing house were the "Martin Mystere," "Nathan Never" and "Dylan Dog" serials. Bonelli also worked on his father Gian Luigi Bonelli's "Tex" stories and created the "Zagor" and "Mr. No" comic books himself.
ANSA said Sergio Bonelli received a civic award in 2008 for "helping make Milan the Italian comics publishing capital and making generations of children love reading."
"Sergio Bonelli thrilled generations of children and grown-ups with his comics," ANSA quoted Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia as saying. "His characters, from Tex Willer to Dylan Dog, have gone down in the history of cartoons, amazing us with their adventures which made us dream and which we will always remember."